Claudine Giovannoni – Switzerland
A short biography
Claudine is a writer who follows a hidden path, into an unfamiliar world. If you just surrender and go with her on her eerie journey, you will find that you have surrendered to enchantment, as if in a voluptuous and fantastic dream. She makes you believe everything she sees in her fantasy and dreams. But as well you take a journey to the frozen mountain peaks of the north of Europe, to the crowded sweating streets of Mexico or Africa. Her characters are wonderfully real and wholly believable perfectly situated in her richly textured prose. She’s a lovely person and she writes with exquisite powers of description!
Kev: What is your latest book about?
Claudine: In the future away from two centuries, with a much more disturbing society as the one familiar to us, the story begins in the beautiful alpine town of Ascona, on the banks of a big lake.
On the first page, arises the youngster Chrysalis with her problems and concerns, all the more complicated and fascinating when we learn that she is an Annwyn. To make matters worse, an enigmatic object falls – literally – to her feet.
Chrysalis, being an Annwyn, uses the dream time to travel, know and act consciously and real but is also a girl of twenty, suffering the brutal and simultaneous death of parents, and deeply connected to her brother (a few years older).
The Annwyn are among us already since the end of XX century, being born in “normal” families, and gradually attracting the attention of governments and scientists due to their telepathic and other quite strange faculties.
The environmental degradation, discussed for over half a century (by those who deny and those who denounce it) modifies the Civilisation irreversibly and radically. In sec. XXIII, humanity already lives within the normal range as possible, but with heavy negative consequences, such as an authoritarian world government, imposing order with a mix of scientific sophistication and violation of human rights.
However, to the Annwyn is recognized an essential and positive role in helping the human race to evolve to levels of awareness and sensitivity as to prevent further disasters.
It is in this context that Chrysalis moves, suspecting that her parents’ death was intentional, fearing the approach attempts of another Annwyn. She herself wanted to know more than the authorities allow, involving a mysterious “Sacred Mirror”, no less mysterious “codices” and an enigmatic “Vibrational Matrix
Kev: Who or what influenced you to write it?
Claudine: I met Chrysalis during my oneiric travels… actually I’m a dreamer too and I’m quite convinced that there is a hidden world in our dreams.
Kev: Did you do any specialised research for your story?
Claudine: For every book I write, I need to go very deep into the character’s and environment’s description. If I never visited the location, I try to get all the information’s from the web and even from people who live there. The characters somehow are taken from real people I know and this allows me to be absolutely precise and punctual getting to a more interesting psychological analysis. Before writing about a particular topic, it is fantastic to study everything into the smallest detail. For me is like going back to school!
Kev: What challenges did you face while writing the story?
Claudine: The biggest challenge is that the whole plot become a prized message about the values of life itself.
My family and I follow the Buddhist philosophy, this give me the chance to reach full happiness and helps me to be determinate in following my goals.
I have a special veneration for the Nature and all the living creatures: too much pain are given to flora & fauna, and this is no good at all.
In all my novels, the Message is hidden wisely inside the fantastic adventures full with perils, great suspense with a hint of magic as well.
I want people to use compassion and love as the most powerful “weapon!”
Kev: Who is the protagonist?
Claudine: In the novel “The Annwyn’s Secret”, the leading characters is Chrysalis Bartók; her brother Joshua and their friend Marius are both character giving the young woman the faculty to pursuit her interior searches.
Kev: What would you say is the protagonist’s greatest weakness or obstacle and why?
Claudine: Being an Annwyn Chrysalis has a great advantage above the humans (like her brother Joshua) but this psychic’s power doesn’t make her happy. After the death of both parents, the young woman is filled with anger and this state of mind confuses her becoming an obstacle which causes her hyperactivity. She became isolated and difficult to be approached, with 23 yrs. she never had a boyfriend…
Kev: Who is the main Antagonist?
Claudine: Vamaran, which is the transmutation of Gwynn ap Nudd a Norse saga’s king. He was an Annwyn who found the “secret codes” and broken the “Sacred Mirror”.
Kev: What would you say is the main antagonist’s greatest strength?
Claudine: He is handsome and extremely cleaver and manipulative, he plays around with people, getting them to do his will. Just as the beauty of “Power” does work upon humans…
Kev: Could you provide a short passage from your book to give us a taster?
# Chrisa looks for a spot where the trees’ branches are less dense and the light can penetrate through a flap of blue sky, which makes shine more intensely the emeralds chestnuts leaves. Got on the tool firmly, the young woman examines the surface of the lake before moving to scout the area close to the shore. The boats are anchored at about 700 feet down below the hill. With the binoculars Chrisa can also see Alessandro sitting in his red and white striped deck chairs. Everything looks calm, a few tourists wandering around, but on board the suspect yacht there is no trace of a living soul.
– Holy Grace. Yet… I was convinced… I’m not mistaken, usually…
With an annoyed grimace, Chrisa returns the binoculars to Marius and she sits on the first big rock that is on the way back to the car.
– Well, promise is a promise Marius. I want to show you something special, an object that we aren’t yet been able to understand what might be and where it may come from.
Then with extreme care, the girl pulled from her purse the checkered kitchen’s towel and hands it to the old friend.
– Who knows, maybe because of your experience you might have an idea… although I doubt that this is an easy question to answer.
Marius’s eyes cower, with one hand, he adjusts his glasses on the nose while the other takes delivery of the object from the hands of the young woman. In turn, he crouches to the ground and carefully lays bare the artifact. Stunned and incredulous, the old sailor blurts out of his mouth a curse in Gaelic: evidently he doesn’t believe what’s holding in his hands.
– It’s simply amazing! Ohhh goodness of the Gods… but… it’s… it’s impossible!
Kev: Favourite author’s book… What lured you to it?
Claudine: J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings.
Since we live in a subjectively different reality, the principles we follow are intrinsically based upon the Law of Cause-Effect, which is connected to our personal karma.
This was somehow present in my mind since I was 12-14 yrs. old… I heard a lot of rumors about this book so I became deeply intrigued. I loved the idea about elves and dragons, dwarves and dark spirits…
I read it 4 or 5 times in the past 40 years (including The Hobbit and the Silmarillion), and each time I reached to a superior level of consideration.
I guess that many humans need to dream about fairy and fiction, since our reality is much too harsh and the daily bad news tears our hearts apart.
The eternal war between good and evil is inside each one of us and the dichotomy which split-up the one from the other is matter of “vibration”.
Kev: When you write, do write off-the-cuff or do you use some kind of formula?
Claudine: I’m a very spontaneous person, December born with the fire in my star sign, I love to “create” scenery full with suspense, action, travel and many little details which sometimes the reader doesn’t achieve since she/he is too much take by the plot of the chronicle.
Sometime I dream things (alike Chrysalis and her world, which is ours, but in year 2222), others I get ideas by looking at the beauty of the Nature, or watching carefully at the behavior of my cats (they gave me the idea of the Jaglinks in this same tale).
Frankly I don’t have a formula, since every novel is a specific moment of my life, just like a mother giving birth to several kids.
Kev: How do you deal with writers-block?
Claudine: I don’t put myself into stress, never ever. That mean I write following my deep feelings and suggestions. When I’m abroad on vacation, I put down many ideas and drawings in my notebook. It helps me to get thoroughly into the emotion I want to write on the novel later.
Since I do write in an egoistical manner, I don’t force things to be done one special way or the other just to please the trend. When I’m not sure about a chapter, I wait and let my dreams help me. I guess I use the LOA quite often when I write… but as well I share my vibrations’ with my feline friends (they are a fantastic inspiration!)
Kev: Preference for writing: Day or Night?
Claudine: I prefer to write at night, with some good classical music as background.
By the way, my husband plays cello, my son piano and my daughter violin.
There isn’t much choice when you have a “regular” job -I’m not a professional writer-, I manage a family with two teenager of 13 and 16 yrs., one lovely husband and six cats.
Kev: What is your process for editing your work?
Claudine: I have a “magister” who is Italians’ literature professor. He likes very much my style, but he’s quite good for giving me suggestions about the “cutting” and “cleaning up” a text of unneeded details. He doesn’t agree much with my punctuation… but he says is an integral part of my writing style.
My husband (he’s a prof. as well.) likes to read at least once my drafts; he controls the details and coherences.
When all that is done, usually takes several months, the book is ready to be assessed.
From the beginning of the first chapter to the end of the job, it takes from two to tree years.
Kev: How do you come up with your book covers?
I like the cover to be appealing and intriguing. I love artwork instead of adapted and modified photos. I know personally the two artists who worked at my book’s cover.
Kev: Do you think the book cover is important?
Claudine: Yes, because if you aren’t a well-known writer, you have first to attract the reader to the image… then usually the curious person reads your bibliography inside the novel and perhaps the foreword. At this point if the message hits, he buys the book.
Kev: Which publishing platform do you prefer and why?
Claudine: I’m old fashioned. I’m not good with the use of platforms and I’m very suspicious with technology. Several times short stories or poems have been published somewhere else without putting my name as copyright. This is plagiarism, is vulgar and despicable.
Last novel was published by Edizioni Ulivo – Balerna (which is not too far from where I live), I pledge to read the printed words!
Kev: Do you face any daunting obstacles during the publishing process?
Claudine: I think this is somehow normal, especially at the first time when you are a novice. If at the beginning I accepted the publisher’s conditions, now I have an agent and a lawyer taking care of my interests.
Kev: What methods do you use to promote your work?
Claudine: The word of mouth is the best at the beginning, but I like to meet people and for this is important to have public presentations or lectures as well. Lovely are the literary coffees. The web is a very important promotion’s device, for this I use my blog. I’m trying to keep a track of the reviews for the books at the site:
from here you may enter a special page for each book I wrote. YouTube is quite interesting, I published a couple of interviews for the television and as well some presentations accompanied with music.
Kev: Do you have any advice for new authors?
Claudine: I guess life is the best school, every one of us has his own lessons to take and is very difficult to give the right tip and hint without knowing the writer and her/his aims in life.
If someone is interested in creative writing, it is always my pleasure to encourage people to go on without being discouraged by what happens along the way.
I basically write for myself but then I like to push through a message which I consider terribly urgent: the preservation of the planet Earth! I like to use the money I earn to sustain specific humanitarian project; in the future I will devote some money for the safeguard of animals too.
Kev: Which social media platforms do you use the most? (provide a couple of links here)
Claudine: I have a FB personal page and Chrysalis Bartók has her own fan-page.
Kev: Do you have a blog or dedicated website for your books? (provide a link)
Claudine: In my personal blog I post non only curiosities about myself and my writings, but I like to spread the words about more ecological an ethical issues.
I’m supporting several ONG like WWF, Greenpeace, Alley Cat allies and Avaaz.org, just to name four of them:
Kev: Is there anything else you would like to add?
Claudine: Right now I’m very trilled since my novel “The Annwyn’s Secret” has being selected from the Torino Film Lab (AdaptLab) for the screen adaptations. See the announcement.
The English translation of this novel was sent to well-known London’s Publishers: my agent is in contact with them and we are waiting for a definitive agreement.
Others books in Italian language are:
“Il Kumihimo del Sole”
“Il Cristallo della Pace”
“Nebbie nella Bughiera”
“Tracce” (poems from Nebbie nella Brughiera)
I 4 Elementi
Not published jet is:
“Piccoli passi nella Taiga” (Taiga’s Dream)